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A Different Kind Of Holiday Shopping Guide! [A Tall Glass of Shame]

The holidays are once again upon us and it is the time of year that many people out there will begin to feel the pressure and stress of the season. Some will be dreading the long trek home to see family, while others may be fearing they will not have enough cash to make it through the year without having to sell off an organ or two. I’m sure you are like me and the holiday season makes you think of the gifts of life, the spirit of the season, the glimmer in children’s eyes as they look at Santa in the mall, and last but not least… Death.

I know what you are thinking “But of course we think about death around the holidays, how can I not with Aunt Louise’s oxygen tank sitting next to me at the dinner table every Christmas?!” Well since we are in such a dark mood this holiday season I figured why not use that impulse to show you a different kind of holiday shopping guide? If you’re going to get Aunt Louise a present this year, why not give her something useful for when she dies… something she might be creeped out by but would love, and Green of course!

At a recent TED talk, artist Jae Rhim Lee reveled her concept for the Mushroom Burial Suit. Her idea was based around trying to make burial as green as possible while eliminating many toxins that are added back into the earth through modern burial techniques. This suit sounds very cool, and if you want you could even strap grandma into one and have the kids wheel her into their science fair to show off the results.

Another way burial is going green, is the new trend of utilizing cremated remains as fuel for planting trees. According to Spanish designer Martín Ruiz de Azúa, who wouldn’t want to return to the soil and sprout a tree at the same time? Biodegradable “Bios Urns” combine human remains with tree seeds. This sounds cool, you can give new life to the planet, your family has a place to visit and remember you, but the only drawback I see is what if the tree dies or gets cut down to make way for someones view lot? “Oh no mommy, lightening just took out Grandpa!…again!” I think the concept is beautiful, even if I feel a little dubious about the longevity of the end product for memorial sake. Another company dedicated to the same idea is The Spirit Tree. Their design is much more modern almost resembling a seed pod, with a two piece cinerary urn that biodegrades and acts as fertilizer for the seed or sapling in addition to your ashes. The top shell has small holes which allow water to filter into the soil and prevents evaporation in drier climates, and it also eventually biodegrades with exposure to the elements.

You have to see this amazing add for “Bury Me Naturally” in Asheville, NC! I almost thought it was a joke until I looked into it and not only are they a real company, there is also a cemetery there completely dedicated to only green burials. Who knew?

That’s right, get Uncle Arthur a fancy new Cardboard casket for his funeral, this gives him plenty of time to paint and decoupage it with his loved ones before he kicks the bucket! Check out this video of Yvonne Estaugh who has left a career in drug enforcement and dedicated her time to decoupaging caskets and other treasures. (I have to say, I kind of want tina turner on my cardboard casket now…)

So hopefully this has given you a few ideas before you complete your holiday shopping. Why give away another crappy gift basket with some fancy popcorn and wine when you can give them the gift of creepy, yet eco-friendly, peace of mind when it comes to their afterlife?!

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featured image credit: Care Caskets